Nickname: "Wholesome Danny"
Occupation: Design Consultant
Hometown: Charleston, WV
Audition City: New York
Vocal: 6 years
Acting: 5 years, BA in theatre from Univ. of Kentucky
FUN FACTS: He is a Sagittarius. He used to be a drag racer!
When Derek first moved to New York three years ago to pursue acting he could not afford furniture, so he slept on the floor for the first three months…he's now the proud owner of a proper bed and a $10 a chair. He shares a tight four-bedroom one bath apartment with three other aspiring performers. Currently he works for a company that decorates several store fronts and hotels, he was fired from his last job as a waiter; they could tell he wasn't that into the work and became so angry over his firing that he walked into an overhang in the subway and knocked himself out.
Growing up he lead a fairly normal life: getting picked on by the other kids until he grew considerably, playing video games and filling in his attempt at a moustache with black mascara. Coming from a small town in West Virginia, Derek relies heavily on his families support. During Grease Academy his father barely slept, so nervous was he that Derek might get sent home early. Dancing since the age of five, Derek's father tried to sway his interest in the arts, pointing out that he was the only boy in a class of thirty girls…Derek's reply, "That's the reason I love the class." His dad is now his most vocal supporter, bragging to any and everyone about his son's skills and successes. Even though Derek calls himself a working actor, he hasn't had a paying gig in New York…but he has played Danny in a few productions of Grease including a travelling tour from 2004-2005.
Derek's biggest challenge thus far has been "dropping everything and moving to NYC with very little money and no where to live" so that he could pursue a career in theatre. His biggest focus is keeping his voice in good shape; it's more of an obsession (he refrains from drinking anything with caffeine for fear it may dry out his voice.) Formally a runner, a sport he loves, Derek was told if he continued to run he would wind up in a wheel chair by the age of 25…he's extremely protective of those things which he loves. Currently single, he recently broke up with girlfriend of three years in August. He's now completely committed to "making it."
Derek's Grease experience has been stressful and amazing...he says he didn't get a lot of sleep during the week of Grease Academy, but he has become more and more invested in the show and doing well.
What genre of movies do you enjoy? Loves movies that make you think, (i.e. The Usual Suspects)
Favorite TV show: "Friends" and "Lost"
Favorite Actor: Kevin Spacey
Favorite Actress: Toni Collette
Favorite Singer: Frank Sinatra
Favorite Group: U2
Favorite Foods: Salmon and chicken pad thai
Favorite Musical: Jekyll & Hyde
Favorite Color: UK Blue